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Tammy Lyn Carbol

Writing is the be​st way to talk without being interrupted

A Little Bit of TLC


'Tis Spring and the Universe is changing...

Posted on March 24, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments ()
Well, February was a bit of a rough month. Needless to say it felt like I lost a month and a half of being productive as I had to rest and heal. That being said, I'm feeling better and things are looking up! WOOT! 

February and the beginning of March were also what we were calling "Snowmaggedon" around here, and our Saturday February workshop by MJ Colette on Writing Erotica (to go with our Valentine Social) actually had to be cancelled because of the weather and roads. The ARWA board doesn't take those decisions lightly, but we felt it was best for our members. On the plus side, she agreed to do not only the cancelled workshop, but also her "The Organized Creative" workshop on our Saturday, March 10th workshop - both were fantastic!  She's such a fun speaker to listen to - I got a lot out of both of the workshops - even started my "Project/Process Journal" - thanks MJ!

Though I couldn't dance or write much for the last while, I have gotten a lot of information to work on and move forward so now that I'm feeling better I am SO excited about it! Our February Thursday night ARWA meeting, we had a quick change as our speaker had to cancel due to a family emergency but Jenny Hops was able to jump in and give us a fantastic talk on Audiobooks. Our Thursday night March meeting, Sarah Sades ( gave a fabulous talk on Camp NanoWrimo and getting ready for it. 

I'm pumped! I'm researching and figuring out what story I'm going to write and intend to hit the ground running on April 1st. That being said, life may get in the way and it may go horribly horribly wrong - but if it DOES, I don't intend to beat myself up about it. I will promise to do my best and if thing go sideways, I promise NOT to feel like a failure, because that accomplishes nothing.

By the way, have you SEEN the new cover for Adam Dreece's new book coming out in June - The King's Horse? It's amazeballs! You can pre-order it on Amazon. He also re-released Snappy & Dashing with a new cover (comes in between The Yellow Hoods Books 2 and 3) and it's fabulous as well! If you haven't discovered this amazing author - do so. It's not just because I'm his Assistant, it's because he's a great writer.

I will find out in April if the presentation I want to do at WWC gets put on the programming, and then I'll tell you all about it. I have a fabulous friend who is pushing me get up my VA website (gears towards writers/authors) and that is exciting for me. She wants to help me do it as she believes in me (awwwhhhh). I'm looking forward to the next few months as I am on the mend and feeling more myself. 

It's Spring, the weather is getting better, I'm feeling more myself, and thinking more positively. Looking forward to what's to come...

Write on...

2018 Is Looking Fantastic!

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 9:59 PM Comments comments ()
Have been getting quite a bit done lately - and I'm fairly pleased with myself! During our ARWA Saturday workshop this month, we had Dwayne Clayden in to speak with us about Poisons.  It was incredibly interesting! The best was he had to say "so if you are looking to poison someone...IN YOUR WRITING"...<snicker>

We looked at poison through the ages and it was truly very interesting with what and how they would poison folks. He was an entertaining speaker and we left with a LOT of information...for our writing, of course.

During ARWA's Thursday night meeting, the fabulous Sarah Kades was in to discuss Building Your Author (or Editor) Website. Many of us either have websites that need updating (completely!) or none at all, so the information was helpful.

So, I was a good student and updated pictures and also some of my writing in my website. Thought about updating the template, but I kind of love my typewriter, so it stays. Also going to make sure I keep blogging at least once a month (hey, considering I sometimes go months or a year without updating, I think that's a healthy goal).

My website for my domain I purchased last summer (at the urging of my ARWA tribe)now has a plan. I believe after Sarah's discussion, I now know what it will be for. Planning to get it done before end of February.

Doing some Virtual Assistant work for Adam Dreece and Katherine Dell, two local Calgary authors who are fabulous people who write great books! Loving it and looking forward to helping them both with some of their administrative needs. I love beta reading and editing Adam's books and audiobooks as well - it's a great deal of fun! Also helping an up-and-coming author get their non-fiction book put together - and I look forward to her publishing it this year.

Have also offered to beta read a friend's Western - which I had no idea they even wrote! He said it was just something he had done, so I told him to send it over.

During all of this, I actually got some time to do a BIT of writing (I've started writing by hand again as I feel it just flows better when I do that and not when I'm typing a story into a computer). This approach seems to be working, so I'll continue finding time to get some writing in each day, even if just for 15 minutes. Getting to work on scrapbooking as well, which I'm finding very relaxing to do and I enjoy putting what I want into it.

Overall, January has been a frustrating, yet fulfilling month and I look forward to what February has to bring. I'm enjoying all the ARWA workshops and meetings we've been having and the information I've been getting from them - it's great! I seriously love my writer tribe, both in ARWA and outside of it. We have a tremendously supportive writing community in Calgary, and I'm extremely thankful for that.

Write On...

2017. Let's Get 'Er Done

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 9:38 PM Comments comments ()


Looking at my blog I note I haven't blogged since Dad passed, and that was far to long ago. I honestly had no heart to do it, and my writing was not up to par either.


Time to change. New website design, new writer business cards, new determination to finish the few stories I DO have on the go right now. 

Seriously, the last few years I have not been writing nearly as much as I wanted to be. Call it writers block, call it laziness, I just had no desire. 

Although I have had a fantastic time both sitting on panels at When Words Collide here in Calgary and attending the fabulous workshops both at WWC and at our monthly ARWA meetings and Saturday workshops, I just couldn't get motivated to write. Nothing much anyway.

A few months ago, one of the members from ARWA said "why don't you try a different genre for now? It might get you started again".

Brilliant. I started again. I actually started on two separate stories (of course). One of which makes me  giggle-snort at times. It came about by some of the ARWA members making a comment in one of our workshops and we went from there. COMPLETELY outside my normal genre of writing. I normally write paranormal romance or if I'm in a different mood, erotica.

It is a mystery with some humour in it (okay, A LOT of humour in it). I'm enjoying writing it. I didn't think I would be able to get back into writing, but changing genres to try something outside my comfort zone is working. I will be putting an excerpt up before end of January. I figure if I declare and state things in print, I will be held accountable.

ARWA had a workshop on Scrivner last Fall and I have started using this writing tool. I am finding it extremely easy and useful and that makes me happy.

It feels like perhaps 2017 may be the year I get my writing mojo back. Switching genres seems to have helped, I don't understand why as yet and want to finish my "Angel" book, as well as "Rope, Saddle & Ride", but I will finish "Write Club" first.

Also working on a story situated on Guernsey, which is also a mystery (without humour)and the hero is a much older man - something new.

Looking forward to (and already registered) to When Words Collide this coming August. Amazing local and international speakers, writers, authors, publishers - it's a fabulous conference to go to. 

I met Diana Gabaldon in 2015 there (and became BEST SISTER EVER to my twin when I got Diana to sign a book to her). 

She is my twin's absolutely, hands-down, favourite author.  I found to her to be an amazingly adorable person and really entertaining speaker.

I had of course read Outlander and a number of the series after that (given to me by my sister, of course).

After meeting her and speaking with her, I had a desire to read even more of her books - and I'm very much enjoying them. I like her writing - I really really like her writing. The amount of research she does makes me feel SUPER lazy, so I have actually been researching the Isle of Guernsey while I have been writing the story. Unbelievable history! WOW! Research can actually be fun! Didn't realize that LOL.

Now that I've revamped my website and been working on some writing, I'm getting more and more confident. It's been a long time since I've felt not only happy writing, but confident in my writing.

I feel 2017 is my year. My year to prove TO MYSELF what I can do and what I can accomplish. No offense, but I am not doing this for anyone other than myself.

My friend is giving me a Passion Planner to try out - I intend on filling it with A LOT of goals, especially writing goals.

I intend on posting excerpts now and then on what I'm writing to keep me accountable and forward-moving.

I intend on MAKING the time for myself (I love my son but Mommy DOES need some writing time for herself). He is almost 4 1/2 so he knows how to occupy himself playing while Mommy writes. I just need to keep an eye on him and an ear out for when it gets silent.

My new "sign out" this year will be...

Write On...

When Words Collide!!! WOOT!!!

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 6:17 PM Comments comments ()
Sooo tremendously excited!!! My fabulous husband has agreed to watch our little monkey the entire weekend so I can attend When Words Collide, here in Calgary August 8, 9 and 10, 2014 at the Carriage House Inn!
If you don't know, WWC is a Readercon!!! It's a festival for readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction, including genre, YA, Childrens books, and Poetry.
Special Guests are:
Very excited to be attending as an ARWA member - AND since Diana Gabaldon is my sisters FAVOURITE author (the "Outlander" Series) she is coming with me!!! I not only get to attend, but I get to hang out for a stint in the ARWA hospitality suite, help out at the ARWA information table, AND I have been asked to sit on the "Writing Hot" panel! (frankly, nervous about that one, but hey, what the hell!)
If you are dying to know the program - see this link!!! Lots to do for both writers AND readers!  Fantastic weekend planned!! hmmm....I know I should dress nice, but still debating if my sister and I will be wearing these gems...
I've never attended a Readercon before and I'm very excited! I love ARWA and it's members are a constant inspiration for me.  Even though I can't always make the meetings now (hard to find a babysitter during the week!), I keep up to date with ARWA's Twitter page, Facebook page, and website
My goal this year is to submit TWO of my manuscripts in - I have GOT to do it - I have to take the plunge (well, technically, I have to finish them first!) and just trust in the Universe they will find their way to where they need to be!!!
This summer I intend to spend lots of time outside in my backyard - so while little monkey is playing...Mommy be writing.  I found a picture of my DREAM backyard, which frankly, I couldn't have in the Calgary climate year-round anyway, but thought I'd share. 
Now tell me...wouldn't YOU feel like writing romance novels if YOU were in this backyard? <sigh> I just absolutely LOVE this backyard.
And, I must add a pic of my little monkey...who was tremendously excited to attend a giant book sale with Grandma, Auntie, Cousin and Mommy this past weekend.  Can't you tell?
Although he IS sleeping, he honestly DOES love his books, and he is only 20 months old! He loves for Mommy or Daddy to read to him OR he will just sit there with a book in his lap and turn the pages while studying it most seriously.  It IS rather adorable and I am hoping he enjoys books as much as his parents do as he gets older! I think he will!!!

My Big Fat Excuse...

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM Comments comments ()
<exhale>  Well, crap...
So, being a brand spankin' new mom totally interferred with my grand dream of sitting down and writing during the day on my maternity leave, giving me loads of time of course to complete and submit a marvelous manuscript, which of course, would be instantly chosen by a publisher to print...or at least that is the excuse I will use.  But seriously, can you deny this face attention?
David at the Rockyview visiting Grandpa...
That, and well, my "only summer off with my son" didn't quite go as planned.  Around June 20th we had a mightly big flood here in Calgary!! On June 24th, my sister had to get the police to break into my father's house to get him.  Long story short - he had a stroke, then a heart attack.  They told us twice the first week he wasn't going to make it as his kidneys were shutting down, he had an infection in his leg, and he got double pnemonia in his lungs.  Needless to say from June 24th onward I was at the hospital every single day with David to be with my Dad. (and my sister - we REALLY got to know staff at the Rockyview and Carewest - David was a big hit there!)
He DID recover by the way, AND after 2-days shy of 2 months, dad got to go home.  He is now receiving Home Care, and realizing he will never work again and must retire early.  On the plus side, he IS alive - good thing he's a stubborn man. 
So as you can see, I have numerous things to use as excuses for not writing.  To be honest, I just wasn't in the mood.
The very scary incident with Dad did allow me to spend a great deal of time with my sister (she's on the left in purple, I'm on the right), so we would spend mornings at the hospital and try to find something to do with our kids in the afternoons.  Sometimes it worked out, sometimes not so much - but we tried!
David started his daycare and I came off maternity leave and have been back at work since September 3rd.  To be honest, since June 24th I haven't thought of much other than Dad and family.  Little Fish belly dance classes are starting up, and this Friday, I start teaching my belly dance classes again - life is going back to "normal" (as much as my life can be normal). 
I printed off the ARWA newsletter today and saw a reminder for annual dues and thought "OMG! It's really September already!!!" so I immediately went and renewed my membership.  All the while feeling hugely guilty for not writing a damn thing in a very, very long time. <sigh>
Then do you know what I did? I am quite proud of myself actually.  I called my mother and asked her to babysit for the Thursday night September meeting later this month!  I will actually be able to attend the meeting without trying to chase down my 1-year old (he turned one on September 5th!) as he is crawling QUICKLY and almost trying to walk - it's just too much to try to attend a meeting and chase him down - I can't focus on what I'm there for. 
I've just been so focused on being a Mom and being there for my Dad that it feels like I haven't been there for myself.  I know it is wrong, and I know I need to take better care of myself (David and I currently have bronchitis - yay for daycare...). 
Baby steps (no pun intended).  I need to take baby steps.  The whole "I'm going to write a manuscript no problem while on maternity leave" thing didn't pan out.  So I will take baby steps.  Getting a babysitter so I can attend our first ARWA Thursday night meeting (AND pay attention) in September is a start. 
David and Mommy on his 1st birthday
Isn't his morning face adorable?
Maybe being back at work and in an office environment will give me the desire to begin writing again.  Maybe not.  Either way I need to get off my ass and start writing again - I need to find that desire, that spark again. 
Hmmmm....maybe I'll think about it over cake and coffee...

A Motivational Speaker....

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM Comments comments ()
On September 22, 2011, we had our first Alberta Romance Writers meeting of the year at our new location at the St. Mark's Lodge.  As my husband is a Mason, I have been to the lodge before, but was pleased to see so many of our members come out who I haven't seen in a very long time.  I believe changing our venue for the first time in 18 years helped.  It was a more residential area and didn't have scary drunks wandering around outside.
Our speaker for the night was Tamara Wickwire, who in all honesty, when she walked in I thought she was a young new member! Oops...
She gave us a talk on "strategies for success and motivation/inspiration", and by the end, I really liked her! It put into my mind a lot of fantastic things that I KNEW, but we all forget every once in awhile.. Such as:
Preparation + Positive Thinking = Confidence
That is one thing I realized I don't have in regard to my short story or novel writing.  I have no problem with the confidence I can write it, it's letting others read it where my confidence wanes.
I know I love to write, and I know in some ways I have confidence in my writing, but it's the "what will people THINK of this?" which stops me from sending manuscripts in, stops me posting snippets on my wall.
She spoke to us about "forming your vision" of where you want to be, to begin with the end in mind.  You don't have to have your vision perfectly formed and you don't have to know HOW to get there, you just have to have a vision.
She reminded us that everything we do, we do for a reason - whether internal or external.  I write because I HAVE to, not because I am going to make money out of it - as that is plainly obvious (though might be helpful if I submitted things huh?).
I DO have a vision.  I need to set my goals to get me there, and I need to follow through with them.  She said we needed to make our goals SMART:
  • Specific (not general)
  • Measurable (how will you know you when achieved it?)
  • Attainable (can they be achieved?)
  • Realistic for You (time restraints, etc.)
  • Timely (deadlines - when accomplished by, etc.)
So I shall be working on following through with my writing goals, and being SMART about them.  I truly enjoyed her talk and found her to be a motivating speaker.  It got my writing juices flowing again and I intend on getting off my butt and finishing some things.

The Summer of Goals Not Quite Achieved...

Posted on September 18, 2011 at 3:01 PM Comments comments ()
So...been awhile since I updated my blog.  It was an interesting August to be sure. First two weeks were spent on vacation - no writing, no dancing...just being.  It felt wonderful!  Came back to reality and had to deal with some health issues with my dad (I can happily report he is now doing MUCH better and it getting stronger every day).

I was reminded (nagged) by my best friend today I have not written on my writer's blog since the end of July, so I am giving a quick update.

(my twin and I being mature on our 41st birthday)

Still have not posted snippets of stories but should have some up by end of September.  Must edit them a bit before posting and be prepared for commentary.  Fair warning I will not be posting the "really juicy" bits, as I frankly don't want to post those online quite mother reads my website...LOL

Have only continued writing RS&R a few times as I haven't been in the mood to write as much as I truly should.  I have two shows to dance in next week, plus woke up the day before my 41st birthday with a WICKED cold and I've been attempting to drug it into submission.  This is truly NOT the week I can afford to be sick.  Working full time, two shows to perform in, a workshop, an ARWA meeting, 3 classes to teach, AND a cold...urgh.

I know I will again get my writing bug back this coming Thursday, as it will be our first Alberta Romance Writers meeting of the year and I always get more passionate about my writing after being in a roomful of like-minded women who have a desire to write as strong as mine.  I missed them over the summer and though I did indeed get some of my "summer writing commitments" accomplished, I didn't get them all done.  Maybe next year I'll pick just ONE goal.  Doesn't sound like something I'd do though LOL...I seem to like stress.

So plan for this week...drug stupid cold into submission and do best to ignore it.  Be FABULOUS dancing in the two shows I'm in this week, enjoy my ARWA writers meeting and then after the flurry of this week is over, GET OFF MY ASS and continue writing.

I need to complete RS&R and get my best friend, K-A, to edit it.  She's honest in her opinion (which I really do appreciate) and a damn good editor - so now I'm going to use her for that. I am going to pay her for her services as I believe she should be an editor as a profession. She's just that good - I just need to convince her of it.



Posted on July 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM Comments comments ()
As you might recall, I had written down the following goals to be completed by July 31, 2011:

  • Create a page on my website for my poetry (or more than one page) and post them
  • Create a page on my website to showcase snippets of my story writing, and post them
  • Continue on my current manuscript (Rope, Saddle & Ride) and post "some" snippets of it (it's got some...ummm...questionable scenes, so not sure I'll be posting those).  I truly wish to finish this manuscript by end of August 2011 and send it off to a publisher - but again, that will be for my August goals.  Let's be reasonable people! 
  • Finish my "Angel" manuscript I have been working on (on and off) for about 10 years.  Yes, seriously...10 years.

Well, I accomplished creating the page for my poetry (more than one) and DID begin posting some.

I haven't posted a page yet for snippets of my stories, but it's because I'm nervous about putting it out there...I just need to get over that fear.

I HAVE been continuing to work on my current manuscript (though no postings yet) and have till August 2011 to complete it. Not sure if that will happen or not but I'll do my best.

Sad to admit I haven't even touched my Angel manuscript.  Bad

On the plus side, we just started holidays and will be spending part of it at the lake, and both taking our computers.  So at night, when we are done basking in the sunshine and playing in the water all day, I can get off my butt and continuing writing. 

That is my desire anyway...I will promise to do my best to get some more writing up in the next two weeks and continue with Rope, Saddle and Ride.  I have decided to put Angel to the side until I complete RSR, it just makes more sense as both are so very different.

Overall, not TO disappointed in myself as I did get some things done on my goal list.